Bluebirds over the Severn and the Wye

Touring the Severn and Wye

The wayward weather behaved for the lucky passengers on a Bluebird Coach tour starting from Chepstow Castle. We went around the town and towards the Forest of Dean via Wintours’ Leap and St Briavels. We turned to go past Dark Hill, viewing iron works, as well as a monument dedicated to Forest heroes — the Mushets —  metallurgists who worked on the process for self-hardening steel. We then went on to Parkend before heading to Speech House. This gave us a chance to glimpse the newly restored stained glass window, Cathedral, which is a highlight of the Forest of Dean Sculpture Trail. We then went past Beechenhurst, up the Cannop Valley and over the Monmouth-Gloucester Road A4136 to Lydbrook, before following the River Wye to Kerne Bridge. With Goodrich Castle on the skyline we headed to the A40. We were lucky enough to view fallow deer grazing at Wyastone Leys.  Lunch in Monmouth.  We drove up the High Street before 250 scouts and guides paraded for St George’s Day. Back in the Forest we headed to Forest of Dean Railway at Norchard where we had an enjoyable trip both to Parkend and Lydney.

We returned to Chepstow along the Roman road, the A48.  Throughout the day there were fabulous views of the Severn & Wye Valleys. Many of the spring wild flowers were out. We had more than a hint of the bluebells that will be at their best in May.

Forest of Dean Spring Colours

It was a good Friday indeed when a coach tour, organised by Woods Coaches, came all the way from Leicester to see the Spring colours of the Forest of Dean. The tour started and finished at the bustling, Welsh market town, Monmouth. In fact market day had been changed from the Saturday to Good Friday, so that was a bit of good luck.

Woods coach trip from Monmouth
Woods of Leicester coach trip from Monmouth

Colours in the Forest are lovely any time of year. Although it was still too early to see bluebells and wild garlic, there was plenty of yellow from the daffodils and  primroses. There was some unexpected dark brown/grey colour as well. We were very surprised but delighted to see a large family of wild boar picnicking not far from Wenchford picnic site!

Pontnewydd Development Association

The Pontnewydd Development Association were show around our area by a Forest of Dean and Wye Valley Tour Guide.

Tintern Abbey seen through a Claude Mirror
Tintern Abbey seen through a Claude Mirror

A group of visitors from the Pontnewydd Development Association travelling with Veolia coaches were show around the Wye Valley and Forest of Dean by a Forest of Dean and Wye Valley Tour Guide.
The association was formed by former A. R. P. wardens after WWII. One member recalled visiting St Briavels as a boy during the war and described arriving at St Briavels station and seeing soldiers training at Bigsweir bridge.
Another member was delighted that the route passed her daughter’s house and was able to impart her first hand knowledge of the recent St Briavels bread and cheese ceremony.

The visitors saw the only working waterwheel in the Wye Valley at Abbey Mill, Tintern. The wheel was restored in 2010 by the Wye Valley A.O.N.B. as part of the “Overlooking the Wye” project.


Woods of Leicester, Autumn Tints Tour, 10 Nov. 2010

“You took me back to my childhood”, said one of the satisfied passengers on the Woods Coaches tour “Autumn Colours of the Wye Valley”.

“You took me back to my childhood”, said one of the satisfied passengers on the Woods Coaches tour “Autumn Colours of the Wye Valley”.

This coach tour of the Wye Valley was devised by a Forest of Dean & Wye Valley Tour Guide who wrote: “We were lucky to have a bright, sunny day when we toured through the Wye Valley and the Forest of Dean, taking in the rich gold and red tints”.

The Thornbury Red Hat Society

The Thornbury Red Hat Society

The glamorous women from the Thornbury Red Hat Society had fun when they spent a carefree Sunday afternoon on an Applegates Coaches Bluebell Coach Tour. After a sumptuous dinner at Bells Hotel, Coleford, they tiptoed through the bluebells at Wenchford on a route devised by a Forest of Dean and Wye Walley Tour Guide.

Red Hat Society
Red Hat Society Ladies have fun!
Bluebells at Wenchford
Bluebells at Wenchford